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June 23, 2024

No justification for suicide, psychiatrists warn Nigerians

Some mental health professionals say that there are no challenges in life that can justify any individual to resort to suicide.

The experts disclosed this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.

The practitioners, who expressed concerns about the spate of suicide in the country, said that suicide should not be an option for any kind of life’s challenges because challenges were part of life.

According to Dr Veronica Nyamali, National Vice-President, Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN), life should also be seen from a mixed angle of good, sweet and bad.

Nyamali also expressed concern that there were a lot of challenges including economic downturns and hardships in Nigeria.

She said that it was unfortunate that some people considered suicide, resorted to drug abuse or engaged in immoral behaviour because of such challenges.

She urged Nigerians to take life easy and develop positive coping and adaptive mechanisms rather than considering negative thoughts like committing suicide when faced with challenges.

The psychiatrist proffering solutions, called for mental health education to make people understand that life exists with challenges.

She urged people to constantly surround themselves with positive people, sharing worries, speaking out and seeking for help as options that could help in time of challenges.

Another expert, Dr Maymunah Kadiri, a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, said that most people who commited suicide or attempted suicide could do that as a result of a mental health or psycho-social problem.

Kadiri, the Medical Director of Pinnacle Medical Services Ltd. listed the psycho-social problems to include anxiety, depression, hostility and hopelessness which exist at the individual level, among others.

She also listed the signs of depression to include sustained unhappiness, losing interest in those things that earlier interested one, having a feeling of consistent worthless and loss of appetite.

She added that one of the causes of suicide included increase in urban migration, which according to her, can cause an increase in psycho-social problems.

Kadiri said that suicide could be 100 per cent preventable since it was not a diagnosable disease.

According to her, there are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent suicide which include government interventions, reducing access to the means of suicide like pesticides, firearms and certain medications.

She said that early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorder could also be adopted to discourage suicide.

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